Recently I had the opportunity to visit Brisbane and being unfamiliar with the city, I had no idea on the best location for my stay. I remembered one of our readers telling me she had a great experience at Rydges South Bank. Word of mouth is a powerful recommendation when it comes to accessible accommodation and I was grateful for her insight. Now that I’ve stayed at the hotel I can tell you she was right, the combination of excellent accommodation and the many entertainment options South Bank offers, makes this a winning choice.
Rydges South Bank offers easy access from the street and throughout all areas of the hotel.
I received an email prior to my arrival offering pre-check-in which I used. There’s the option to advise arrival time if earlier than the regular 2pm check-in and note any room preferences such as a room with a view. I was staying in an accessible room and somewhat negatively ticked my preference for a room with a view. As we’ve discussed many times over on our Facebook page, accessible rooms rarely have a view so I felt the preference probably didn’t apply to me. How wrong I was!
I opened the door to the accessible room and felt an extra pep in my step as I walked towards the promising looking view I could spy through the curtains. What a joy to pull back the doors and see South Bank in full view.
I appreciate the option of sitting outside and enjoying the fresh air on the rare occasions when I have time in the room to relax. The verandah in the accessible room at Rydges is step-free and wide enough to accommodate a wheelchair.
There are three accessible rooms in the hotel but only one has a view so if you are booking I’d suggest putting in a request for the room with a view. Keep in mind this is only a request and depends on bookings.
The accessible room is spacious with plenty of circulation space for a wheelchair user and room on either side of the bed to transfer to the bed.
The room features large wall light switches, visual alarms for people with a hearing impairment and lowered amenities. The mini-bar fridge and tea & coffee making facilities are all at lowered heights. The treat food in the mini-bar would be a little difficult to reach for a wheelchair user. If you’re likely to feel peckish at midnight, it may be wise to ask to have the food lowered.
When I opened the wardrobe for a sticky-beak I noticed something I’ve never seen before in an accessible room. A clothing rack which lowers to make it easier to reach.
A bit of upper body strength is needed to pull it down but I thought this was a nifty inclusion.
The accessible bathroom has ample room for transferring from a wheelchair to the toilet or shower bench.
The bathroom has grab rails throughout, height adjustable hand-held shower head and lever taps.
All amenities are lowered, there’s a back-rest on the toilet and a wheelchair accessible bathroom sink with a lever tap.
AJ certainly made herself at home quickly checking out the Foxtel channels available on the big screen television and later taking up residence in the comfy lounge seat.
The verandah was a great spot to start the day with a cuppa while watching sunrise peep through the buildings.
At the other end of the day it was a good position as the sunset glinted on the buildings on the other side of the river.
While it was lovely to watch the activity from our balcony, knowing that South Bank Parklands was less than a 5 minute walk from the hotel lured us across the road. It is wonderful to have restaurants, entertainment and a level riverside pathway to explore within such close proximity.
The pool and Soliel Pool Bar are positioned outside to take advantage of Brisbane’s good weather. A lovey 25 degrees while we were visiting in early winter.
A wheelchair accessible lift ensures access for all to the pool area. Once in the pool gate there is room to transfer to the edge of the pool but no where within the gated area to store a chair. Although the weather was beautiful it wasn’t quite warm enough to get us into the pool.
I’ve mentioned many times how much I love a good hotel buffet breakfast and Rydges South Bank delivered.
The elegant dining area made me want to linger for hours but there was sightseeing to do. I selected a few favourites to fuel me for the day and enjoyed the atmosphere for the time I had available.
The buffet has a range of hot and cold offerings with my favourite made-to-order omelettes available. I noticed a separate area with gluten free breakfast items which I always appreciate now that I have a few friends who need this when they travel.
I know from travelling with AJ as a child, often the details she remembers about a hotel are the staff or a special treat which was on offer. I haven’t seen many hotels offering chocolate and strawberry milk at breakfast and just knew our little country cousins would love that. However, it was the juice in a bottle with a straw which attracted them on the buffet.
Coco Pops were also a winner, after all a stay in a hotel is of course the time for those treats you don’t normally have at home. I fancied the sweet little pots of yoghurt and granola. Delicious!
CBD – CAFE BAR DINING
We grabbed something to eat in the CBD – Café Bar Dining casual restaurant a couple of times during our stay. It is located on the ground floor of the hotel with a street front position. The varied and casual menu had something for all the family with pizzas for the kids and my favourite, mashed avocado bagel with feta and Modena balsamic.
Just quietly, it’s also the place to go if you feel like ice cream. The fridge is stocked with Movenpick ice cream which is perfect to take back to the room.
SUPERIOR TWIN ROOM ACCOMMODATION
For our second night in the hotel we swapped to a superior twin room which was just next door to the accessible room. We grew to a family of five with my cousin and her two boys bunking in with us for the night.
There was high excitement as we only get together a couple of times a year and staying in a hotel made it even more special.
The room was spacious even with two queen beds, a sofa and five humans of varying sizes.
The bathroom is compact compared to the accessible bathroom but does have a step-free shower.
You can read more about Rydges South Bank here.
Disclosure – we stayed in the accessible room as guests of Rydges South Bank but as always our opinions are our own. We had a really lovely stay and the accessible room has excellent features, thus the glowing review. We paid independently for the additional night’s stay.
There are so many activities nearby Rydges South Bank they deserve their own blog post, but to give you a taste, here are a few reasons we love the location.
Although we took a taxi from the airport to the hotel, the train is a more economical option. There is a station about 2 blocks (around 10 minutes walk) from Rydges South Bank.
South Bank Parklands is reason enough to stay at this hotel. I absolutely love the atmosphere which has been created in this family-friendly environment which has playgrounds (though sadly not accessible), water play areas, a pool (with ramp access) and lovely walks. The ferry at South Bank wharf is accessible and seeing Brisbane from the water is a scenic and pleasant way of travelling.
Rydges South Bank is also located in the arts precinct with the Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC) and the Queensland Art Gallery (QAGOMA) within easy walking and wheeling distance.
Rydges South Bank is right next door to the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre making it an ideal hotel if you are attending an event or conference.
Stay tuned for more information about Brisbane soon.
Disclosure – I travelled as a guest of Visit South Bank but my enthusiasm stems from finding an amazingly accessible area of Brisbane to share with you.